Failure is Fertilizer

by Stephen Longfellow Fiske

The creative attitude accepts and allows for failure, is unafraid of risk, of making mistakes and sees that all experience gives lessons in the path of learning, accomplishment and growth.

Sometimes events that are the most painful are the most fertile for growth. We learn to dig these experiences into the soil of our lives so that they enrich us as fertilizer,  rather than detracting  or leaving us feeling victimized or less by the sense of failure.

Learning to embrace failure, rather than fear failure is a key component to any successful creative endeavor.

Fear can be a friend, as we learn to channel the fearful energy into a constructive possible solution, rather than attention-filled reactivity. The creative attitude sees fear as the challenger; keeping us alert, on our toes and engaged.

We are here to grow into our fulfillment. All our past experiences enrich and teach us. When we see failure as fertilizer,  teaching us and bringing us to greater understandings and success, we also see our inspiration comes from the whole of our experience which includes failure.  Accepting failure is a necessary ingredient in the creative process.

Creativity is about discovery, not playing it safe. Creativity is about exploration and improvisation. Creativity is about working with and through obstacles, challenges and failures. Creativity is about allowing our inspiration to lead us onward to the fulfillment and flowering of our lives.


I wait
a single sentry at a distant outpost
scanning the open land
perched on the edge of myself
a lifetime traveled to be here
each breath dying in the mist
searching for a sign, a word
a point of contact
with you
mysterious inspiration

My heartbeats echo in the wind
thoughts dissolve into silence
I see shadows move
colors converge
images emerge
as the artist approaches the canvas

Thrusting brushstrokes across the landscape
sculpting form from dust
the path opens
and awaits my footsteps
risking the unknown
I go forward on faith
anticipating your call
your guidance through the terrain
bridging the distance between us
You in your eternal ambient disguise
me in my flesh and blood
seeking a passage, a channel
that finally discloses you to me

I dissolve in your palette
fulfilling my desire
to release myself
to lose myself
to surrender 
serving your intentions
mysterious inspiration